Social Neuroscience and Pharmacology
Our studies investigate how hormones and neurotransmitters are involved in social behaviors and related psychiatric disorders, mainly in autism spectrum disorders. We have in previous human genetics studies shown associations between oxytocin genes and social behaviors relevant for individuals with autism e.g., emotion recognition, social memory, pair-bonding behavior and aggression. In experimental studies using humans, mice and zebrafish, we have revealed that oxytocin is relevant for behaviors seen in individuals with autism. In our on-going research, we use pharmacological, neuroanatomical and behavioral studies in transgenic and mutant zebrafish to investigate the development of the social brain and social behavior.